Thinking of Breeding Your Mare in the Spring? What you can do now to prepare!
by Dr. Tena Boyd
- Consider putting her “under lights” now to help ensure that she is cycling well by March 1*
- Plan on ultrasound examination with uterine culture and cytology +/- uterine biopsy at least one month before your desired breeding date
- Pick your stallion now and make early contact with the stallion manager or owner. Occasionally there are “early booking” discounts on stud and/or breeding fees!
- Be sure that she is current on de-worming, vaccinations, and has a current negative Coggins’ test prior to breeding
- Are your registrations or incentive registry information up to date?
Putting a mare “under lights”
·A mare’s reproductive tract and hormonal surges associated with estrous or heat cycles and becoming pregnant are geared to occur during the season of the year with longer day lengths (spring & summer)
· To stimulate this response for March or even February breeding, we want to expose the mare to light for 60 days prior to our desired “date”. This is accomplished by adding light to the mare’s environment followed by several hours of darkness. Examples: Turning on a 100 watt or equivalent light in her 12’ x 12’ stall from 4:30 pm and turning that light off at 10 PM or housing the mare in a run in area with floodlights on during those hours.
· It is important that the light hours are followed by darkness to trigger natural season
· Left on her own, mares in our region typically do not cycle well until mid-March